March 24, 2007
STATESBORO, GA. -- Jay Jackson pitched seven solid innings and Tony Maccani doubled twice and drove in three runs to lead Furman to a 9-3 win over Georgia Southern Saturday afternoon in the second game of a three-game Southern Conference series at Clements Stadium.
The victory was the third straight for Furman (7-14, 3-2 SoCon) and the Paladins' sixth triumph in the last seven meetings with Georgia Southern (16-11, 0-2 SoCon).
Jackson (1-1), a Taylors, S.C., product and former Christ Church Episcopal School standout, earned his first win of the campaign after allowing seven hits, three runs, and three walks while striking out two in his longest outing of the season. His strong work on the mound followed Friday night's contest that saw him belt a three-run home run in the Paladins' 8-1 win over the Eagles.
One of Maccani's two doubles came in the pivotal sixth inning when, with the score tied 1-1, he cleared the bases with three-run two-base hit to give Furman a 4-1 lead. The Paladin senior also scored two runs as Furman made the most of nine hits, including three by freshman Cole Franklin, who delivered a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning.
In a game that began as pitcher's duel, Georgia Southern broke on top first with a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Griffin Benedict.
Furman tied the game in the fifth after Will Stembridge led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice, and scored on the first of two, two-out singles by Franklin.
The Paladins did their biggest damage in the sixth, scoring four runs off Georgia Southern starter and losing pitcher Drew Murray (3-4) and reliever Kyle Kamppi. Joey Rodgers was hit by a pitch to lead off, and Marcus Rose followed with a bunt single. A fielding error allowed Bobby Hubbard to load the bases, and Maccani then stroked a Murray offering into the left field corner for a three-run double. Maccani later scored on a passed ball to give the Paladins a 5-1 lead.
Georgia Southern narrowed the Paladin advantage to 5-3 in the seventh on A.J. Wirnsberger's two-out, two-run double before Jackson rallied to retire the Eagles' Mike Economos on a fly out to end the inning.
Furman broke the game open in the eighth. With one out Maccani doubled and moved to third on a groundout. Joe Daysh was intentionally walked, and Eagle reliever A.J. Batisto followed with a walk to Nicholas Karrow to load the bases. Franklin then delivered a two-run single to right field and moved to second on a passed ball. Spence Gibbs extended the rally with a two-run single to centerfield to give Furman a 9-3 lead.
Nick Hollstegge pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to secure the victory.
Furman will go for the sweep in Sunday's series finale, which is set to get underway at 1:00 p.m.